Carlin’s Jack Harvey took the first British Formula 3 race of the weekend at Donington ahead of teammate and title rival Jazeman Jaafar.
Fortec’s Alex Lynn rounded out the podium nearly three seconds up on the other series contender Felix Serralles.
A stellar start by poleman Harvey ensured his lead was secure into the opening turn at Redgate. From there, the Lincolnshire man slowly extended the gap to 2nd place driver Jaafar – 2.4 seconds after four laps, 3.7 after a dozen tours, before the gap reached 4.9 seconds at the end of lap twenty.
The late start (the race only got going at 5.12pm) meant the air temperature dropped significantly as the sun dipped. The cooler air saw the engines to run a little cleaner, allowing quicker laps to run; however the fast wearing tyres countered any attempts at stellar pace.
With the light dipping, both Harvey and Jaafar could feel conditions change, as the latter noted:
“This track was hard to get the tyres up to temperature and it was toward the end when the car really improved.”
Harvey was more succinct about the matter:
“I was pushing to the end and was pushing for fastest lap. Alex was really fast and I couldn’t take fastest lap in the end, so I couldn’t quite get it. My rears were starting to go, but the pace was getting quicker if anything.”
Harvey lifted off exiting the final, drifting to the pitwall to celebrate with his Carlin mechanics. It allowed Jaafar to close in slightly, but the Malaysian’s thoughts were elsewhere thanks to the lingering Lynn.
Although his championship was cut to a single point, Jaafar seemed relatively pleased with the outcome:
“It was OK, the car was good. Jack had a really good start and managed to pull a gap. As it went on, we were close at one point until Lynn got the fastest lap toward the end, but it was a good race. We had good pace and we are really happy with the car.”
For Lynn, it was another promising performance and another sign that the Essex racer may have plenty to offer in the future. A stunning start gave Lynn 3rd almost straight away, as he dragged his way past Serralles.
At points during the race, Lynn swapped fastest lap times with Harvey and Hannes van Asseldonk, although he would finally claim – and the bonus point – four laps from the end. Lynn spent much of the latte half of the race troubling Jaafar for 2nd spot, only to be foiled repeatedly by the dirty air emanating from the Carlin.
“It was a good start; I just got a bit more momentum than Felix [Serralles] and then I just outbraked him into the first corner on the outside. I was just a bit too close [too Jaafar] and couldn’t follow him very closely.”
For Serralles, the race was a tough one. Unable to hold onto Lynn, the Puerto Rican held a comfortable gap ahead of van Asseldonk, despite the Dutch racer’s obvious speed in the later laps.
The battle for 6th, 7th and 8th was less straightforward, as Pietro Fantin, Pipo Derani and Harry Tincknell proved.
Fighting over the minor placings was enough to bring the most out of threesome, with Fantin showing his aggressive side to Derani from Coppice through to Goddards. Derani initially took Fantin on lap two, with the latte eventually re-passing Derani on the sixteenth tour, after a brief swap three laps earlier.
Tincknell watched all this happen from a few feet behind, nearly taking advantage on several occasions, as Fantin and Derani came close to tripping over eachother.
Nick McBride held 9th ahead of the quiet Rupert Svendsen-Cook and Geoff Uhrhane. Behind them Hywel Lloyd took the National Class win on his return to Formula 3 – the Welshman finished ahead of Pedro Pablo Calbimonte and Spike Goddard, who claimed the National Class title in the process.
Duvashen Padayachee rounded out the order, one lap down on Harvey in his three year old chassis.
2012 British F3 Round of Donington (Rd 10, Race 1, 21 laps) Pos Driver Team/Car Time/Gap 1. Jack Harvey Carlin Dallara-VW 29m07.724s 2. Jazeman Jaafar Carlin Dallara-VW + 3.911s 3. Alex Lynn Fortec Dallara-Merc + 5.044s 4. Felix Serralles Fortec Dallara-Merc + 7.846s 5. Hannes van Asseldonk Fortec Dallara-Merc + 9.521s 6. Pietro Fantin Carlin Dallara-VW + 22.173s 7. Pipo Derani Fortec Dallara-Merc + 26.799s 8. Harry Tincknell Carlin Dallara-VW + 27.591s 9. Rupert Svendsen-Cook Double R Dallara-Merc + 38.638s 10. Nick McBride T-Sport Dallara-Nissan + 39.468s 11. Geoff Uhrhane Double R Dallara-Merc + 39.903s 12. Hywel Lloyd CF Dallara-Mugen* + 53.274s 13. Pedro Pablo Calbimonte T-Sport Dallara-Mugen* + 57.965s 14. Spike Goddard T-Sport Dallara-Mugen* + 1m17.753s 15. Duvashen Padayachee Double R Dallara-Mugen* + 1 lap
2012 British F3 Series standings (Rd 10, Race 1) International Class Pos Driver Points 1. Jazeman Jaafar 294 2. Jack Harvey 293 3. Felix Serralles 286 4. Alex Lynn 237 5. Carlos Sainz Jr 224 6. Harry Tincknell 196 7. Pietro Fantin 176 8. Pipo Derani 123 9. Hannes van Asseldonk 120 10. Nick McBride 81 National Class Pos Driver Points 1. Spike Goddard 400 2. Duvashen Padayachee 355 3. Adderly Fong 161 4. Pedro Pablo Calbimonte 97 5. Hywel Lloyd 21